South Africa: opposition groups join forces to challenge ruling party ahead of elections - InfoNews

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South Africa: opposition groups join forces to challenge ruling party ahead of elections

South African anti-apartheid activist Mamphela Ramphele, left, greets Helen Zille, right, the head of the South African Democratic Alliance political party during a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. The former anti-apartheid activist who was close to Steve Biko and was a World Bank executive merged her party Tuesday with South Africa's main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, and will be its presidential candidate, challenging the ruling African National Congress whose popularity has eroded amid corruption scandals and other problems. (AP Photo/ Nardus Engelbrecht)
January 28, 2014 - 12:55 AM

JOHANNESBURG - A former anti-apartheid activist and medical doctor who also held a senior position at the World Bank will be the presidential candidate of South Africa's main opposition party in this year's elections.

Mamphela Ramphele had a son with activist Steve Biko, who in 1977 was tortured and died in police custody. Last year, Ramphele formed her own party to challenge the African National Congress, which has been the ruling party since the first all-race vote in 1994.

Ramphele said Tuesday that her decision to merge with the Democratic Alliance, a larger opposition group, is in the country's best interests.

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC are the electoral front-runners but they have lost some support because of corruption, poverty, unemployment and a lack of adequate government services.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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